THE GHOST

SHORT STORY

20 APRIL, 1996

It was raining heavily and there I was, sitting in my room alone, waiting for my parents to come back from a relative’s marriage ceremony. I don’t understand why they even have to marry. I was just 16 back then so it was something that wouldn’t go inside my head. There was a total black out in the city, so I couldn’t even watch TV. I had no other choice but to stare outside my window and enjoy the rainy night with wild thunderstorm as if it was the devil’s day. I could see the streets flooded with water. And suddenly my sightseeing was interrupted by a man running down on the flooded streets in a hurry. But the water was slowing him down. That was making him give some extra effort to run. But why was he even running! Suddenly he tripped and fell on the streets. And another man appeared on the streets standing over him with a gun pointed on his head. And BANG!

Holy Shitt! He shot him. This is a murder and a murder is wrong. How could he murder someone? I panicked and shut my window loudly. Ohh shitt shitt shitt, he must have heard it. Now what am I going to do? For the first time I was wishing my parents to come home early. I sat in a corner of my room and prayed to keep me alive. I gathered all my courage and dared to see if he was still there. I opened the window and there was no one.

“KNOCK KNOCK! KNOCK KNOCK!”. I couldn’t even stand to open the door. I was so afraid to come out of my closet.

“Mike open the door, it’s us.” As soon as I heard that, I ran to the door, opened the gate and hugged my parents and burst out crying. “It’s ok son, it’s ok. The moment we heard about the shooting, we came as soon as we could. Don’t worry son, we are here now.”

The words that I hated the most started to sound like a blessing. There was a huge crowd gathered around the dead body. I thanked God to let it end. But deep down I knew he was still out there looking for me. The only question was would he come back for me or just let me go?

NEXT DAY

“Why would he come back?” exclaimed my parents. Obviously there were police officers around the street. But along with them, there were 2 CBI officers who came looking for that guy.

“You don’t know him the way I know. I have been chasing this guy for the last 5 years. My guy is armed and extremely dangerous. He leaves no clue and vanishes from the scene like a ghost. He only leaves behind a number of dead bodies wherever he goes. If he knows you saw him, he is coming back. He wouldn’t leave a single clue that would lead to him. We have to increase your security sir. We can’t take any chances. Your son is the sole eye witness. Your son has given us the sketch and we would do anything to find him and then we will need your son to prove that in court.”

“How about we just leave this city and move? He won’t find us.”

“There is no place to hide. He will find you and he will come for you. He could be anywhere. We don’t even know who he is. We just know that he comes and disappears like a ghost. He is the ghost!”

After two days we got a call from the CBI officer informing us that they have caught the killer. Finally he was arrested. For the first time I took a deep breath and felt safe. He was to be presented to the court. The CBI officer had everything. He got his guy. He got the only clue and the strongest one, i.e. me as the eye witness. This was a total open and shut case.

COURT ROOM

“I need you to confirm me that it was him who murdered that guy.” “Yes, it’s him”. I could never forget his face, the tough look with a scar running through his left cheek and his half cut ear and specially his red eyes. He had the perfect look of a cold blooded killer.

Everything was running fine and was in our favour until the opposition lawyer presented another man. I was still standing in the witness box when the lawyer asked me to look at both the suspects and tell me who exactly was at the crime scene that night. I saw a man with a tough look with a scar running through his left cheek and his half cut ear and red eyes coming towards the witness box. It was him. They looked exactly the same. They were twins. The court cannot punish one brother for the other’s crime. Now I had to determine who exactly was in the crime scene and I couldn’t. How am I supposed to identify one from the exactly similar looking twins who had all the details matched to each other?

Both the brothers were released from custody due to lack of evidence. They walked by me, looking me in the eye with their hungry eyes and giving me the message that he is coming for me. I wasn’t safe anymore.

There was a huge crowd outside the court. The media and public gathered around to know what happened inside the court room. The two brothers made their way from the crowd to the road when suddenly one of them got pushed and fell when a bus squeezed him on the road like a squirrel. He died on the spot. One of them died but who was the one who died, the innocent one or the ghost? If it was the ghost, we have been saved by the god. But if it was the innocent one, it was time for me to spend sleepless nights keeping my eyes wide open not to close them forever.

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THE SONG OF DEATH

SHORT STORY

The night was falling, spreading the red colour through the sky. There was a wide emptiness over the road and sidewalk, and yet there were a few unconsidered figures moving silently through the mist. This was the hour of the defeated. Men & Women who have had fought and lost, with their shabby clothes, bowed shoulders and unhappy eyes pass unnoticed. Even the birds sang merrily and were flying home. But I had nowhere to go. Lost in the world, alone I sat there on the banks of the river, figuring out what to do with my life. There was nothing I wanted to do but wait for a miracle to happen with me.
“What’s the matter buddy? You seem a little disturbed!” asked the guy sitting next to me.
I was in no mood to talk. Filled with frustration and anger, I shouted out “My whole life is a problem. I am a 26 year old music composer and all my life I have been working hard to get a job in the Bollywood industry. But all my works have been rejected. Now when I got a chance, I can’t even come up with a single song. And I just have three more days left for the submission. I have no idea what to do with my career and my life.”
I realised I spoke too loud, actually I was screaming and everyone was staring at me. Embarrassed, I just stood up and walked away from that place, into the woods. As I went in, I heard a soft music coming out behind the bushes in the corner. I went through the bushes and cleared the leaves to see three men sitting on the stones and singing the song. It was so dark that their face couldn’t be seen. It was like three shadows sitting on the stones. The music was so soft that even I started humming with them unaware of the fact that I could be clearly seen standing there.

“The Sun sets in night,
And the stars shun the day.
But glory remains when the lights fade away.
Begin Mortal, thou threats are in vein,
For the song of death shall never complain.”

That’s when I realised they had stopped singing and were staring at me. I quickly hid behind the tree and peeked from there. To my astonishment, there was no one. They vanished in thin air within a fraction of second. I was terrified and ran towards the road. I took a cab and went home.
Next day, I went to my studio and thought of composing that song. It was not a bad idea. The song was kind of old and tribal, I was sure no one would have ever heard of it earlier. After composing the original song, I went home. As I went in I heard the same song coming out of my room and those three shadows again, singing and dancing all around my house. I was terrified and ran to my friend’s house who lived across the street. I spent the night in his house. In the morning I didn’t have the balls to pay a visit to my own house, so I went to my studio. I worked on that song, modified the tunes and added some beats and the song was ready.
Now it was time to go home. I was frightened to go home alone and so I took my friend over a sleepover. As I entered, again I saw them singing and dancing all around my house. I panicked and started screaming for help. But I couldn’t help noticing my friend staring at me confused about what was happening. It was then that I realised only I can hear that music and those shadows were visible only to me. I understood the connection, the song was some kind of portal between the worlds of living and the dead & unfortunately I opened it. I ran into my studio to delete the song. I could see those three shadows standing in front of the gate of my studio, nodding their heads saying not to delete the song. I stormed inside and switched on my desktop. The shadows started running across the room violently destroying everything in my studio. And then something unfortunate happened. As I deleted the song, the whole studio caught fire and I was trapped in it.
When I woke up, I saw those three shadows sitting beside me. I couldn’t see or feel my skin. It was all black like a shadow. And then I realised the bitter truth. I was trapped between the worlds of living and dead. I was being haunted and now it was time to haunt others.
Waiting for the next prey to fall in their trap, there were four shadows singing and dancing in the woods, the song of death.

“The Sun sets in night,
And the stars shun the day.
But glory remains when the lights fade away.
Begin Mortal, thou threats are in vein,
For the song of death shall never complain.”

-Shreyansh Saurav & Vidu Ranjan

AN UNSOLVED DREAM

POETRY

I was walking through the forest,
A path long and dark.
Welcomed by dogs like I was a guest,
Dogs that never did bark.

They were not my mission,
I kept moving further.
For my mind in total confusion,
In search of my brother.

The sky was coal black with a shine less moon,
And trees lifeless with no leaf.
Seemed like the devil had got his boon,
For which we were to grief.

My path was completely covered in fog,
I couldn’t see the way.
For it was then that I saw a shadow talk,
But didn’t know what to say.

I called at him to ask for my brother,
As I started running.
He shouted back yelling for water,
As he was almost dyeing.

I was helpless as I had nothing to give,
I just stood and saw.
The death of a man in a forest deep,
With open arms and an open jaw.

I fell on the ground shocked and terrified to see,
As though thunder had struck me.
For the cold dead body lying in front of me,
It was my brother, yes it was he!

I was half dead and trying to fight my tears,
With my dead brother in my lap.
With suddenly in my cell a message appears,
It was my mother saying,” your brother is back.”

On hearing that ,my throat got a lump,
Frightened, I stood up and ran.
I had to overcome huge rocks and bumps,
I jumped, tripped ,fell and bang!

I was bathed in sweat when I opened my eyes,
I jumped up to sit in my bed.
My pounding heart and fear slowly dies,
“THANK YOU god to let it end!”

For it was then that I realized it to be a dream,
The clock tricked 4:00 on the shelf.
I got down from my bed and went to bring,
A glass of water for myself.

I came back and checked my cell as it was near,
My mind was blown out of track.
As I found the same message still lying there,
Saying that,” your brother is back.”

-Shreyansh Saurav